BFC show JFC who is in charge

Bengaluru FC defender Juanan (left) attempts a shot past Jamshedpur FC midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam at Sree Kanteerava stadium on Thursday. DH Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Bengaluru FC inflicted more misery on a depleted Jamshedpur FC, scoring a 2-0 win in the Indian Super League at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Thursday.

Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu set the ball rolling for BFC with a powerful header in the eighth minute before skipper Sunil Chhetri extended the advantage with a composed strike, his eighth of the season, in the 63rd.

With the win, BFC leapfrog ATK (21) to take the second spot with 22 points, only behind leaders FC Goa, who have 24. Jamshedpur, after suffering their third loss on the trot, remain sixth with 13.

Manuel Onwu started for the first time for BFC since November with Chhetri and Ashique Kuruniyan on the wings while Udanta Singh, battling a poor form, was dropped to the bench.

At the other end, weakened by the absence of star players Sergio Castel and Piti due to injuries, Jamshedpur took a chance on their new signings. Spanish forward David Grande started alongside Gourav Mukhi, who was back in the starting XI after serving a six-month suspension for age discrepancy.

It didn’t take long for the Blues to assert their dominance as Ashique, who proved a menace on the right flank, saw his cross tipped away by Jamshedpur custodian Subrata Paul.

Four minutes later, the Blues scored the opener through Paartalu, who rose high above his marker to head home Dimas Delgado’s corner from the left. Soon after, Kuruniyan latched onto a long pass from back and tested Subrata with a ferocious strike.

Jamshedpur had a great chance to draw parity in the 38th minute after Grande’s defence-splitting pass found Faroukh Choudhary free near the BFC box but Kuruniyan tracked back to block the winger’s effort. BFC went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Ashique squandererd a chance, shooting wide off the target after being put through on goal by Onwu, who was replaced by Udanta in the 49th minute.

The Manipuri winger, looking to make an impression, threatened to double the lead in the 52nd minute after he dribbled past two defenders to enter the box from the right flank before firing over the crossbar. In the 63rd minute, Paartalu caught the Jamshedpur defence napping with a long pass which  found Chhetri, who nodded the ball away from an advanced Subrata before slotting it into the net.

Udanta missed a golden chance in the 70th minute as he dragged his effort wide from a few yards out after playing a neat one-two with Chhetri on the left flank.

Jamshedpur’s night was over when BFC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulled off an amazing save, stretching his hand to the right, to deny David Grande a goal on his ISL debut.

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